Super excited to be able to share the Stylish Thoughts of author and Evolve Your Style(er) Alison Goodman. She’s based in Melbourne, Australia and you can find out more about her books here.
What is the secret to great style?
I am still pondering this one, and I think I may be doing so for the rest of my life. However, from my observations of people who do have great style, some of the essential ingredients seem to be confidence, an eye for proportion and shape, and a touch of playfulness.
What is the one thing you would spend a lot of money on?
A good handbag. Not necessarily an “it” bag, but one that you can grab and know that it finishes an outfit with a bit of flair.
What is the one thing you wouldn’t spend a lot of money on?
Black opaque tights – I go through them at a great rate.
What are your top tips for looking stylish when travelling?
I travel to the UK and France quite a bit for up to six weeks at a time, so with more than a month of dressing and those climates in mind my top tips are:
1. Take a great coat or jacket that can move from day to evening (and wear it on the plane so you don’t have to pack it).
2. Tuck in a pair of “dancing” shoes – you never know when you may be called upon to dance, or at least go somewhere snazzy for dinner.
3. Stuff your shoes with belts, scarves and accessories– they change an outfit in a second.
4. Think layers: I always pack a few thin, close fitting thermal tops that can go under other tops to add warmth but not bulk.
5. Pack one fabulous piece that may not necessarily fit with your carefully planned co-ordinates. I like to pack a sensational dress (currently a teal Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress) that I can reach for if things get a bit samey and overused.
How do you balance new trends with a more timeless look?
I used to be a keen trend buyer, but these days I only take up a trend if I know it already suits my style or I deliberately want to go and try something interesting and new. Even so, trend pieces are generally not “forever pieces”, so I have a policy not to buy them at forever prices!
What is your current obsession?
My current obsession is the A-line maxi skirt. It suits my body shape and is so easy to wear in summer.
Who inspires you?
Not so much a who but a when: the eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries. I love the shapes of those eras; accentuated waists, draped and folded long skirts, extravagantly coiffed hair, picture hats, and wide necklines to show pale décolletage and opulent jewels.
Another inspiration is Cate Blanchett. Pale elegance personified, but with a touch of the crazy every now and again to keep things interesting.
Do you have a signature piece or style?
At the moment, I think it may be my hair. I’ve never worn it this long before and I’m enjoying the way I can dress it up and make it part of an ensemble. I also like to add a little bit of romantic steampunk to my outfits too. If I narrowed it down to an actual piece of clothing, I think it would have to be my little brown steampunk bolero jacket with the flirty wren tail, made by Damsel in This Dress.
What’s your secret to making yourself stand out?
I like to wear something dramatic and opulent, whether it is a bright colour, a fabulous coat, a great bag, a long necklace with a bit of bling, a hat, or an interesting pair of shoes (I am a fervent fan of John Fluevog shoes and boots).
The one piece of advice most women need but don’t get?
Take a look at your back view – you may not see it, but everyone else does.
What’s the best piece of style wisdom you’ve ever received?
“Never get a perm again, Alison.” That was after a particularly tragic poodle hairstyle in the 1980’s, and I have abided by that wisdom ever since.
What is your favourite current trend?
The return of the interesting, long necklace.
What’s your favourite short-cut to style?
Lipstick, eyeliner and a boldly coloured cropped cardigan.
What’s the worst current trend?
For me, it would have to be those heavy, ugly gladiator type platform shoe/sandals with the high vamp – they do not favour any human leg, even the long and lovely. Ugh. And they are usually paired with a mini skirt or dress, which makes them even more tragic as they cut the line of the leg at the ankle. Double ugh.
What are your favourite websites?
Shopping wise, I love Modcloth, Clockwork Couture, Birdsnest, Sacha Drake and Leona Edmiston.
The blogs I enjoy are, of course, Inside Out Style, but also Already Pretty, Une Femme D’un Certain Age, and Styling You.
How would you describe your personal style?
This is a work in progress but at the moment I am playing around with vibrant, theatrical and romantic with a side order of steampunk.
Who are your style icons?
- Cate Blanchette
- Audrey Hepburn
- Vivienne Westwood
The amazing, beautiful Alison! Such great style and vibrancy from such a creative lady. I love her stylish thoughts and enjoyed this interview very much. I am heading to the Fleuvog website as soon as I finish my comments. I also must thank Alison for directing me towards the designer Desigual. After seeing her fantastic pieces and the way she styled them I decided to purchase a tunic as well. Alison is certainly an inspiration and offers clear and practical advice. …Brava!
She’s gorgeous! I love Alison’s striking style and her blend of unusual designs and colour. She never looks like she takes herself seriously, but has a playful style and looks like she has fun in the dressing up box (aka wardrobe).
Alison has an impish quality that I enjoy. She is so smart in her styling, knows her best looks, plays with her gorgeous hair to make it perfect for the outfits’ character, and comes across as a very smart and confident woman. I hope to read her books soon, they are bound to be colorful, as is she.
Love what you’ve done here by paying attention to details. This will help me more than you’ll ever know. Your choices tell a lot about you: Love it.